Women Veterans

According to the Veterans Affairs 2016 fact sheet on Women Veterans Population, the State of Texas has the highest number of Women Veterans in the country. Travis County is home to over 6,500 women veterans who have served in the Armed Forces. The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Travis County Veterans Service Office is committed to assisting women veterans in all aspects of VA benefits, counseling and assistance programs. Veterans can be seen by our Assistant Veterans Service Officer and Women's Veteran Coordinator, Susan Lewis on either a walk-in or appointment basis.

How to apply

Spotlight on Melissa Castillo, an Assistant Veterans Service Officer from Bexar County on the Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans

Mission Statement

Serve as an advocate for a cultural transformation (both with the VA and in the general public) in recognizing the service and contributions of women veterans and women serving in the military. Raise awareness of the responsibility to treat women veterans with dignity and respect. Promote current positive images and roles of women veterans and women in the military. Advocate for services for women veterans to be on par with their male counterparts. Follow legislative impacts affecting women veterans. Provide women veterans with information on federal, state and local benefits.

Our Role

Have a woman veteran benefits’ counselor on board to assist women veterans with filling disability claims for gender-sensitive, gender-specific issues; serve as a resource center, and perform outreach to improve women veteran’s awareness of the VA, and other benefits, eligibility criteria, and community resources; advocate for equity of access, services, and benefits for women veterans: identify trends specific to women veterans seen at the Travis County Veterans Service Office; make referrals to local agencies for services; such as but not limited to: military sexual trauma, housing and employment resources.

VSO Duties

An officer shall aid any county resident who served in the armed forces or nurses’ corps of the United States, and any orphan or dependent of the person, to prepare, submit, and present any claim against the United States or a state for benefits to which the person may be entitled under United States or state law. The officer shall defeat all unjust claims that come to the officer’s attention.

Veteran County Service Officers Association of Texas (VCSOAT)

The mission of the VCSOAT is to develop professional highly qualified county service officers who are dedicated to providing outstanding services, education and support to all eligible veterans, dependents and survivors. More...

Benefits

General VA Benefits

Travis County Veterans Services Office

A Women Veterans Coordinator is on site to assist women veterans with any questions.

512-854-9340

VA Women Veterans Hotline

Receives and responds to questions from Veterans, their families and caregivers about the many VA services and resources available to women Veterans.

1-855-VA-WOMEN (1-855-829-6636)

State Benefits

Assists with Employment, Education, Claims and manages the Veterans Assistance Fund Lottery ticket. http://www.tvc.state.tx.us/ 1-800-252-VETS

Texas Veterans Loan Programs

Gives Texas veterans the opportunity to borrow money to purchase homes and land at below-market interest rates. The program can also be used for home repairs, and in conjunction with other financing programs like VA loans. It is easy to use, and offers Texas veterans an exclusive and unbeatable financing alternative to purchase their own piece of Texas.

glo.texas.gov 1-800-252-VETS (8387)

TEXVET

Supports Texas Military, veterans, and family members with information and referral services and by facilitating the delivery of these services across traditional boundaries. TEXVET is dedicated to providing veterans, military members and their families with equal access to information.

texvet.com 512-341-4924

Healthcare

Veteran Affairs (Austin Clinic)

Medical and Mental Health services

va.gov

womenshealth.va.gov 512-823-4000

YWCA (Greater Austin Area)

Women veterans and women service-members who do not qualify, or choose to use VA mental health services, may utilize the YWCA’s confidential mental health counseling. The YWCA also provides referrals for women, couples, and their families free of charge. YWCA services are open to the general public.

ywca.org 512-326-1222

Vet Center (Austin) Readjustment Counseling

Offers free counseling for veterans who have experienced Military Physical assault, War Zone and or Military Sexual Trauma

va.gov 512-416-1314

Housing & Assistance

Homeless Veterans Hotline

Call Center to ensure that homeless Veterans or Veterans at-risk for homelessness have free, 24/7 access to trained counselors.

va.gov 877-4AID VET (1-877-424-3838)

Texas VFW Foundation

Veterans Assistance Program. This grant is designed to help lessen the burden of unexpected financial situations that are no fault of the applicant. Application for this grant is available to veterans with an honorable discharge, who are Legal Texas residents regardless of age or time period of service. Other conditions apply please read eligibility criteria for more details.

texasvfw.org 512-291-6850

Caritas of Austin

Has received a grant for a Veterans Housing Stability Program. “Caritas recognizes that prevention, intervention, and rapid rehousing are key strate-gies that reduce homelessness, decrease its recurrence and promote housing stability for low-income households, many of which are veterans.

caritas.org 512-479-4610

Meals on Wheels and More

Provides an additional meal to Austin area veterans who are on their caseload. Meals on Wheels and More now has a Veteran Case Manager, who helps find resources in the community to assist veterans and their families.

mealsonwheelsandmore.org
Margaret Martin at 512-476-6325, ext. 196

Legal

Business Resources

BCL (Business Community Lending)

Provides FREE Foreclosure Loss Mitigation & Counseling to Texas families who have fallen behind on their mortgage. They can assist in finding options and solutions to help families try to save their home. BCL also offers a variety of other free counseling programs regarding business loans, home loans, and more.

bcloftexas.org 512-912-9884

Women Veteran Business Center

Assists with educat-ing and empowering Women Veterans and military fami-lies to start and grow Veterans Owned Businesses. *Partner-Referral agency for Dress for Success Austin.

womenveteransbusinesscenter.org

Dress For Success Austin

Is reaching out to the military and veteran community! DFS provides a free business suit, employment coaching to clients to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Support extends far beyond the free “suit” to a promise to each client of ongoing support and information as she enters and remains in the employment arena. This program is open to the general public.

*Referrals are required for this program and can be provided here at the Travis County Veterans Service Office.

dressforsuccessaustin.org 512-389-3723

Recreational

Texas Rowing For All (TRFA)

Is centered upon the enrichment and transformation of the lives of people with disabilities through the sport of rowing and paddling. Texas Rowing For All (TRFA) Central Texas includes one of the largest concentrations of disabled veterans and ser-vice members in the United States. Free lessons are avail-able for veterans with disabilities

texasrowingforall.org 512-467-7799

YMCA (Greater Austin Area)

Provides fitness programs and offers discounted membership to veterans who’s household income is under $40,000.00 *Referrals for this program are required, and are provided here at the Travis County Veterans Service Office.

Austin YMCA

Family Resources